Review: Trout Stanley (Severely Jazzed Productions)

“Silly and sublime” Trout Stanley takes to the stage at the Storefront Theatre in Toronto

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A critic once wrote, “Tom Robbins writes like Dolly Parton looks,” and I think this applies to Claudia Dey’s Trout Stanley. On the surface, it’s over-the-top, goofy and little bit cheap, but I was charmed by the spectacle. And as I sat there, giggling and shaking my head, I began to realize that the characters and their world meant more to me than I expected.

Currently playing at the Storefront Theatre, Severely Jazzed Productions tackles this wacky and poetic tale of two sisters who have barricaded themselves against the outside world. Since loosing a third twin in the womb and, eventually, their parents, Sugar and Grace Ducharme seem cursed by death. Holed up in their tiny house beside a garbage dump and plagued by news reports of women their age found murdered, they’ve created their own morbid mythology to make sense if it all. Continue reading Review: Trout Stanley (Severely Jazzed Productions)

Review: M’dea Undone (Tapestry Opera)

M'Dea Undone - Featuring Lauren Segal - photo by Dahlia Katz

Tapestry Opera stages new opera M’Dea Undone at Toronto’s Evergreen Brickworks

Despite several trips to Brickworks for attractions such as the Farmer’s Market and the Children’s Garden, I had never been in the space that sets the scene for Tapestry Opera’s 2015 production of M’Dea Undone by composer John Harris and librettist Marjorie Chan. While the narrative has its roots in classical Greek mythology, this opera was completed this year and is a modern story about timeless themes – betrayal, desperation, vengeance, love, and above all the ambiguities of good versus evil. Continue reading Review: M’dea Undone (Tapestry Opera)

Cheap Theatre in Toronto for the Week of May 26

Shows in Toronto for under $25

Did you miss the inexpensive shows of last week? No need to worry, as there is quite a mix on this week. This week’s affordable theatre picks include a play about anger, dances inspired by love and hope, collections of one-act plays and a comedy show centred around a certain card game against humanity. Check them out: Continue reading Cheap Theatre in Toronto for the Week of May 26

Toronto Play Listings for the Week of May 25, 2015

Shows That Caught Our Eye This Week

This week in Toronto theatre brings you an eclectic mix of one-person performances, tales based on various historical events, and a couple of comedy specials. I’ve highlighted the shows that our editor Mike would love to see this week with two asterisks ** and in red text. Perhaps they’ll also strike your fancy, or you may find something else that’ll tickle your interest. Continue reading Toronto Play Listings for the Week of May 25, 2015

Review: Fever/Dream (Seven Siblings Theatre Company)

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Seven Siblings Theatre’s Fever/Dream is a random workplace comedy playing in Toronto

When the illegitimate son of a business tycoon is suddenly handed the reins to his father’s multi-billion dollar enterprise, he must prove his worth despite having zero business acumen and virtually no real world experience. Having been kept as a secret prisoner in the company’s basement for most of his life, this would-be heir to an empire must learn not only how to run his father’s company, but also how to have normal human interaction with the outside world.

Currently playing at The Jumblies Ground Floor, Fever/Dream is a wacky, tacky look at corporate ladder climbing, unbridled ambition, bureaucratic nonsense and, yes, even love. To say this play is random, would definitely be an understatement. Continue reading Review: Fever/Dream (Seven Siblings Theatre Company)

Review: Morro & Jasp: 9 – 5 (Factory Theatre and U.N.I.T Productions)

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Morro and Jasp’s new show 9-5 takes on the world of work at Toronto’s Factory Theatre

Dirty little secret: this was my first-ever Morro and Jasp show. For all their well-loved Fringe-Fest Adventures and Dora-award-winning escapades, the stars have just never aligned. Jeez, I’ve been missing out.

Morro and Jasp: 9-5 will scratch itches you didn’t even know you had, pulling surprisingly hard targets out of unexpected places and consistently nailing them, all in a neatly-wrapped 70-minute package.

And there’s beer, if that’s your thing.

Continue reading Review: Morro & Jasp: 9 – 5 (Factory Theatre and U.N.I.T Productions)

Review: Jekyll & Hyde (Confidential Musical Theatre Project)

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Confidential Musical Theatre Project’s fourth Toronto Production Jekyll & Hyde surprises

The Confidential Musical Theatre Project‘s fourth Toronto production (Jekyll & Hyde) went up and came down back in April, and even if you hate musicals, you would have loved it.

In fact, CMTP is quickly becoming one of my favourite parts of the Toronto theatre scene. They take a show that they’ve always wanted to do, they cast every role based entirely on technical skill — so long as they’ve got the voice for it, nobody is too old to play Maria, too fat to play Hope Cladwell, or too male to play Anne of Green Gables — and they dispense with the conventional rehearsals, skipping straight ahead to opening night. Continue reading Review: Jekyll & Hyde (Confidential Musical Theatre Project)

Review: Titanic The Musical (Mirvish)

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Mirvish presents Titanic The Musical featuring Canadian tenor Ben Heppner in Toronto

The sinking of the ocean liner RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912 during its maiden voyage is an ambitious subject for a musical. You have to wonder if the most infamous nautical disaster in history can be treated in a meaningful way through song and dance.

First of all, Titanic The Musical is not an adaptation of the James Cameron film Titanic; there’s no Jack and Rose, and Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On does not feature in the score. Originally opened on Broadway in the spring of 1997, a few months in advance of the blockbuster movie, Titanic The Musical is an original work by composer Maury Yeston with book by Peter Stone. The musical has always been a bit uneven and the version currently on stage in Toronto is a mixed bag; I enjoyed parts of it immensely but I thought other aspects fell short. Continue reading Review: Titanic The Musical (Mirvish)

Write for us! Coverage of the 2015 Toronto Fringe Festival

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Mooney on Theatre is looking for folks to review Toronto Fringe Festival shows, which run from July 1 to 12, 2015.

In a lot of ways Fringe Festivals embody what Mooney on Theatre holds dear, theatre accessibility. They are cheap theatre that is attended by a wide range of people, many of whom are not theatregoers the rest of the year.

With this in mind, we put a lot of effort into providing as much coverage of the festival as we can, including: covering each show in a relatively substantive way; running contests for free tickets; reporting on the buzz surrounding the fringe and more. If you want an idea of what the coverage will likely look like, check out the Fringe Festival category on this site. To make this happen, we need to bring on more contributors.

Continue reading Write for us! Coverage of the 2015 Toronto Fringe Festival

Review: Ballad of the Burning Star (Acting Up Stage Company and Why Not Theatre)

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Cabaret song and dance sheds light on the Israel-Palestine conflict, on stage at the Toronto Theatre Centre

Acting Up Stage Company has paired with Why Not Theatre to present Ballad of the Burning Star, a unique production from Theatre Ad Infinitum. The production is a drag cabaret performance about an unlikely topic: the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Yes, the subject matter is one of the bigger hot button topics of late, so putting song and dance, glitz and glam, mascara and high heels around that is a highly controversial move. Some may find this offensive. However, everyone should find this as something to talk about.

Continue reading Review: Ballad of the Burning Star (Acting Up Stage Company and Why Not Theatre)